Rishikesh: Beautiful River Ganges, clean water and lush greenery strike the mind as soon as one recalls the place called Rishikesh. Lakhs of tourists visit the city in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand every year to enjoy the tranquil surroundings. However, the memories of Rishikesh are not the same now.
The holy river, Ganga, is like a flowing mess. The tourists who visit Rishikesh for rafting, however, believe that the great river can be cleaned up.
While it is said that Ganga is becoming dirtier in cities because it cleans the industrial mess, in Rishikesh, the river is unclean as it is used for entertainment means.
There are 150 rafting camps in Rishikesh. All are registered with Uttarakhand Tourism as well as the Forest Department. Since the camps are operated in rural areas, they do not come under the scrutiny of Municipal Corporation. The place hosts around two lakh tourists every weekend. Since there is no garbage management and disposal mechanism in place, it is up to the camp organisers to take care of the same. The common method used to dispose off garbage is to burn it.
The rafting stretch from Shivpuri till Laxman Jhula of Rishikesh is the longest in the country. Tourists from across the world visit the place every year.
The holy river is also being ignored by those who earn their bread and butter from it. Not just tourists but also those who earn millions of rupees by organising rafting camps are least bothered about Ganga. Albeit the organisers give rafting training to tourists, yet, in the absence of any guideline, fail to give any instruction on how to keep Ganga clean.
Despite these mala fides, Ganga stays mum, never complaints; it just flows calmly. However, the question rises till when the holy river will suffer?